How To Work With Social Media Influencers Ethically and Respectfully To Leverage Brand Awareness

As a business owner, it is always important to look for different ways to reach your ideal audience. Whether it’s paid advertising, organic social media, or word of mouth, getting the word out about your brand is important. But what if there was a way to get the word out through someone that is already talking to your ideal customer? What if your audience and theirs aligned so well that it would be foolish not to work together. 

Welcome to influencer marketing, with a twist. 

The One Thing You Need To Know About Social Media Influencers That No One Is Telling You

As an influencer myself in the plant-based space, I can tell you first-hand how it feels to be one. It’s super cool, but the one thing that no one is telling you is that these folks are people. Human beings that speak a love language. What is a love language? Well, in a book that I found called The Five Love Languages that my wife and I were reading, the author talks of five different ways that folks feel loved. These are the five main ways folks feel loved and the % of which is the most common top love language among all people: 

  • Words of affirmation: 23 percent of people
  • Quality time: 20 percent of people 
  • Acts of service: 20 percent of people
  • Physical touch: 19 percent of people
  • Receiving gifts: 18 percent of people 


Most people will fall into these categories. It is super important for me to understand with my wife, but I also find that it applies to a lot of things in my life…like working with influencers. Knowing that the winner by a few percentage points is “words of affirmation” tells us that doing your research before reaching out to an influencer is a big deal. So how do you first reach out to an influencer? 

What Should You Do Before You Reach Out To A Potential Influencer?

Close your eyes. Imagine you are an influencer. You have spent years and years working hard to grow your brand organically. People have followed you, DM’d you, and praise you publicly on social media. Ok…now that you have had your five seconds of fame, I want you to imagine what it would feel like to get a form letter. You know the type….one that was copied and pasted, the name changed and sent as quickly as it could to as many people as possible. That is what influencers receive probably ten times a day. So how is yours going to stand out? One word. Care. You have to out-care your competition. Here’s how you do it: 

Spend at least fifteen minutes exploring your potential influencer’s world. Engage in their social media. Do they have a lead magnet you can sign up for? Give them your email address and see what their first email looks like. What does their engagement look like on social media? There are ways to calculate it, but just look with your eyes and see if they have a lot of likes and comments on their content. Observe if it is possible to send them a direct message on Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok, or maybe they have an email address publicly in their profile description. 

Now that you have researched them, engaged in their world, and still feel they are a good fit, it might be time to reach out. 

What Should You Say In Your First Contact To A Potential Influencer For Your Brand?

Using words of affirmation, write your first message to the influencer. First, an example of an email: 

Hi _________, 

No doubt you get a million of these a day, so thanks for taking a moment to read a real note from a real admirer of your work. My name is ____________ and I am the ___________ at ____________. I am not going to copy and paste a form letter like the hundreds of other folks that message you each week. No no. Instead, I would like to say that I spent some time searching for folks that I feel authentically represent the _____________ space and I feel like you are killing it. 

Here’s why: 

  1. Reason 1 why you like their brand. Be specific. Don’t just link to a blog post and say you like it. 
  2. Reason 2 – more words of affirmation. Recognize how they respond to all comments or something that only someone who looked for a minute would know. 
  3. Reason 3 – something that has to do with their personality. Mention that even though you don’t know them, they seem like someone authentic and real. 

I would like to work with you. To that, I would like to tell you more about my brand, which is also in the __________ space. I would like to first get the product in your hands to make sure you like it. No strings attached. Feel free to respond with your business address for me to send it to you and in a week or two, I will reach out again and see what you think.

If you are a fan, I would of course love to talk. We believe in paid partnerships and have an affiliate program as well, but first things first. Let’s make sure you like the product, because if I have learned anything in this line of business…authenticity is everything. I look forward to connecting soon. Please respond to where to send the products and I hope we can connect soon.

Warmest Regards, 

<your name>


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